Best Pancake Compressors to Add Power to Your DIY Projects

Review & Comparison, Last Update November 7, 2018
Have a number of pneumatic tools in your home tool arsenal and look for a proper air compressor to power them up? Quit scrolling air compressor type guides and turn your eyes to pancake compressors. Combining decent power and portability, a pancake air compressor will do the trick for most of your home repair works and tasks. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Maximum Pressure
Power
Air Delivery
Tank Capacity
Noise Level
Extras
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

The noise level won't exceed 75dB to the maximum and 60-65dB at the average power. It's a really good rate for this type of equipment. Hence, even if you are engaged in long-term work, the noise won't irritate you. 

CONS

Somewhat inconvenient carry handle. 

OUR VERDICT

The leader in high-performance power tools, Dewalt introduced one of the most powerful pancake air compressor models so far. The DWF55126 can quickly generate the air pressure of 165 PSI and maintain 2 pneumatic tools simultaneously. You'll be able to accomplish all your tasks faster and with more precision.

detailed parameters
Maximum Pressure

165 PSI

Power

10 Amps

Air Delivery

2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI

Tank Capacity

6 gallons 

Noise Level

up to 75.5 dB

Extras

Tank pressure and outlet pressure gauges, High flow regulator, 2 couplers, Carry handle

Weight

30 lbs

Warranty

1 year 

PROS

Non-skid feet are height adjustable, allowing you to place the unit in a sturdy and stable position on uneven surfaces. Moreover, the compressor won't slip and scratch the surface during operation.

CONS

A bit high vibration level during operation. 

OUR VERDICT

Tried and tested not only by experienced handymen but also seasoned specialists, the BTFP02012 has established itself as a pro-grade tool. The appliance provides a smooth and consistent performance without pressure surges, and can be safely used with all types of air tools without a fear of shortening their service life.

detailed parameters
Maximum Pressure

150 PSI

Power

10.5 Amps

Air Delivery

2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI

Tank Capacity

6 gallons

Noise Level

up to 78.5 dB

Extras

Tank pressure and outlet pressure gauges, High flow regulator, 2 couplers, Carry handle

Weight

29 lbs

Warranty

1 year 

PROS

This model is carefully checked for any leakage in hose connections under critically high workloads. Besides, an oil-free pump and a drive without a belt make the unit maintenance a breeze.  

CONS

Pretty loud operation. 

OUR VERDICT

The Porter Cable C2002 is a budget-friendly and practical pancake compressor that doesn't trail behind premium models in terms of functionality. It's a sound choice for both household use and some low-scale finishing works at small construction sites.

detailed parameters
Maximum Pressure

150 PSI

Power

10 Amps

Air Delivery

2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI

Tank Capacity

6 gallons 

Noise Level

up to 82 dB

Extras

Tank pressure and outlet pressure gauges, High flow regulator, 2 couplers, Carry handle

Weight

30 lbs

Warranty

1 year

PROS

An oil-free pump design and top-quality insulation ensure the unit flawless operation under extreme temperatures, which is important for those who often work outdoors.

CONS

Pressure gauges have a slight error. 

OUR VERDICT

What sets the Excell pancake compressor apart from competitors is an impressively high air delivery rate (2.8 SCFM at 90 PSI) at a relatively low motor power of 7.5 Amps, which makes this small and compact unit an efficient and power-wise choice for all uses where you need power and portability.

detailed parameters
Maximum Pressure

150 PSI

Power

7.5 Amps

Air Delivery

2.8 SCFM at 90 PSI

Tank Capacity

6 gallons 

Noise Level

up to 80 dB

Extras

Tank pressure and outlet pressure gauges, High flow regulator, 2 couplers, Carry handle

Weight

34 lbs

Warranty

1 year 

PROS

The package comes complete with a 20-piece compressor starter kit including all necessary accessories for various connections, which eliminates the need for you to buy them separately.

CONS

The welded joints on the tank aren't very accurate.

OUR VERDICT

Even though this model has only 1 coupler and a moderate pressure rate, the combo of a reasonable price tag, fully-fledged package, and great performance characteristics more than makes up for these tiny flaws. Able to cater to all kinds of household repair tasks, it is one of those tools that should be found in the arsenal of any handyman.

detailed parameters
Maximum Pressure

135 PSI

Power

10 Amps

Air Delivery

2.2 SCFM at 90 PSI

Tank Capacity

4 gallons 

Noise Level

up to 80 dB

Extras

Tank pressure and outlet pressure gauges, High flow regulator, 1 coupler, Carry handle, 20-piece compressor starter kit included

Weight

22 lbs

Warranty

1 year

DEWALT DWFP55126

A Reliable and Powerful Workhorse

DeWalt is a recognized brand among professional and DIY power tools users alike. And for a good reason. The brand stands out for the flawless quality and top-rated performance specifications, no matter what it is they produce: a commercial-grade heavy-duty unit or a compact tool for domestic chores. Which only proves: if you need a trustworthy and rugged air compressor that will serve you for years on end, you follow the right track.

Like all other products by DeWalt, the DWFP55126 pancake compressor is very well engineered and made with focus on details. It features a well-balanced design with rubber feet to firmly keep it on the surface and prevent marring; a removable console cover to protect controls and ensure ease of maintenance; a re-routed outlet tube for convenient hose connections; two couplers to engage two air tools simultaneously and a carry handle to move the compressor from one place to another without a hassle. Fitted with a 6-gallon tank, the whole construction weighs about 30 lbs, which, though not the lowest weight rate for this type of compressors, is still light enough to carry with ease.

Design features aside, this model is built around a forceful high-efficiency 10 Amps motor. It starts easily and smoothly even when connected to a long extension cord or used under cold weather conditions. Generating the maximum pressure of 165 PSI, it provides 2.6 CFM air delivery rate at 90 PSI. A high-flow regulator allows maximizing the tool performance through the air flow intensity adjustment. Due to the use of oil-free pumps, pancake-style compressors tend to be very loud. Yet, the DWFP55126 isn't the same. Despite a high pressure, the noise level during operation normally stays within 60-65 dB rates and doesn't exceed 75dB. This way, you can use it as long as you need without worrying that it might inconvenience your neighborhood.

Bottom line: the DeWalt DWFP55126 is a reliable small pancake compressor that will deliver consistently high air pressure allowing you to accomplish a variety of general tasks around the house. Whether you are a fan of this brand or a first-time DeWalt user, this model won’t disappoint you.

Review of DEWALT DWFP55126 6-Gallon 165 PSI Pancake Compressor

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
A farmer's unboxing and quick review of the Dewalt Pancake Air Compressor : DWFP55126
 

BOSTITCH BTFP02012

The Choice of Professionals

When choosing any power tools, handymen often seek recommendations from seasoned specialists and professionals to be sure they get a really good tool, able to meet all their needs. When it comes to the Bostitch pancake air compressor, this model has the record number of positive reviews provided by experienced workers engaged in serious commercial works. Which makes us believe the unit quality and performance are beyond the doubt.

The model offers a standard for this kind of compressors design with a motor block installed on top of a flat round 6-gallon air tank. The motor starts flawlessly under any conditions and builds a tank pressure up to the maximum of 150 PSI in mere seconds. It means you can start working shortly after you've launched the motor. Two pressure gauges in the front will show the tank air pressure and the output air pressure respectively. It is notable that the compressor won’t work continuously. As soon as the tank pressure achieves 150 PSI, the motor will automatically stop, and, when the pressure drops down to a certain level, will kick on. On top of that, you can regulate the output air pressure depending on what kind of pneumatic tool you are going to use and what type of job you plan to do. The airflow of 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI is more or less a standard delivery rate suitable for a variety of household repair tasks, and the tank capacity is just right for long operation and quick pressure recovery.

Complete with two couplers, the unit can be operated by 2 users at a time without the loss of pressure or any pressure surges. A handy feature specific of this model is adjustable non-skid feet. Not only won't the compressor slip over during operation but also it will stand steady on any type of surface and floor, even if it has some irregularities. If you need a compressor to pair with pneumatic tools for jobs such as framing, nailing, and finishing jobs, there is hardly a better choice than the Bostitch BTFP02012. Ensuring consistent pressure output, it will keep your tools working smoothly and in no way affect their service life.

Review of BOSTITCH BTFP02012 6-Gallon 150 PSI Pancake Compressor

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
Bostitch BTFP02012 6 Gallon 150 PSI Oil-Free Compressor Review
 

PORTER-CABLE C2002

Tried-and-true Quality

Just like DeWalt, Porter Cable is a leading brand in power tools industry, but in a more affordable medium-range segment. The company's main goal is to provide premium-grade quality products with reasonable price tags. And they do it very well, with the PORTER-CABLE C2002 being a proof of that. Costing less than what you'd normally pay for branded compressors, this model doesn't trail behind in terms of functionality and performance.

The PORTER-CABLE C2002 has an easily recognizable red design and a sturdy feel to it. It has a pancake-style air tank that counterbalances the motor weight to add stability to the construction, and features 4 small rubber feet to keep it steady on the surface no matter what it is - polished wood, stone, or vinyl. A 120-volt motor quickly builds up the operating air pressure (150 PSI) and recovers it once dropped during work, while the tank capacity of 6 gallons allows for a long run time. If you compare these specs with similar models by more famous brands, you'll see they do not differ.

Let's move to the output CFM and PSI ratings which are essential parameters that determine if a compressor is fit for driving the tools you need. According to the manufacturer, the PORTER-CABLE C2002 can blow out 2.6 SCFM at 90 PSI and 3.7 SCFM at 40 PSI, which makes it suitable for almost all types of jobs. More to that, it has been carefully checked for leakage and tested under critically high workloads, which proves that it can surmount virtually anything. As you can see, the Porter Cable C2002 has it all, even though it's cheaper than premium models. So if you're looking for a budget-friendly model that would deliver just as well as premium models, the PORTER-CABLE C2002 can be a very good choice.

Review of PORTER-CABLE C2002 6-Gallon 150 PSI Pancake Compressor

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


VIDEO
PORTER-CABLE C2002 Air Compressor (Demo & Review)
 

Excell U256PPE

Efficient and Power-wise Compressor

When it comes to power, normally, less power means lower performance. But what if a lower power motor outranks a more forceful one in performance? Sounds like a challenge. However, that's exactly what you will get with the Excell pancake air compressor - it packs a big punch despite its modest power rates.

Compared to other compressors, the U256PPE has a less powerful 7.5-amp motor. But what is surprising is that this doesn't affect its air delivery rates. In fact, the U256PPE even outperforms some more powerful models. You get the same maximum pressure of 150 PSI, which ensures a long run time and quick recovery of the compressor, and 2.8 SCFM at 90 PSI air delivery rate, making it suitable for a variety of stapling, nailing, bolting, and wrenching tasks.

Like other pancake-style compressors, this model comes complete with an oil-free pump requiring no specific maintenance and ensuring smooth and efficient operation. But what sets the Excell apart from the rivals is that an oil-pump, paired with top-quality insulation, ensures failure-free unit start and flawless motor operation without jerks even under harsh weather conditions, be it extremely low temperatures up to -14° F or a scalding summer heat. This, together with a smooth low voltage (64V) start and the ability to operate on a 14 gauge 100-foot extension cord, makes the Excell a great choice for rural areas and buildings with limited power supply.

Thanks to a high air delivery rate combined with a relatively low motor power, the Excell is one of the most efficient and power-wise air compressors suitable for all sorts of applications where you need portability and reliable performance.

Review of Excell U256PPE 6-Gallon 150 PSI Pancake Compressor

 

PowRyte 5001430

All-in-one Handyman Package

If you need a truly affordable, portable, yet powerful and multi-purpose air compressor for your home needs, look no further. The PowRyte small pancake air compressor will fit the bill just right.

What you’ll get here is a really compact unit with a 4-gallon air tank. Owing to a smaller capacity, the model weighs only 22 lbs. Fitted with a convenient handle on the top and a cord storage on the back, this compressor is very easy to carry around and transport, if necessary. However, its tank supports the same 10-amp motor you'll come across in larger models. It will build up the maximum pressure of 135 PSI and ensure the output airflow of 2.2 SCFM at 90 PSI. Overall, the tool has rather moderate performance characteristics and is best suitable for light-duty repair jobs such as framing, roofing, flooring, and general inflating tasks. Not dissimilar to other compressors we reviewed, the PowRyte has a durable protective shroud on its motor which allows using the tool both indoors and outdoors without worrying about damage. Plus, it features an oil-free pump which means you can use it even when it's freezing cold outside.

On the negative side, the PowRyte compressor features a single coupler which means it can maintain only one pneumatic tool. Yet, this minor downside is fully compensated by a 20-piece accessory kit this model is complete with. The set includes a whole range of plugs, nozzles, hoses, and connectors to use a compressor for dusting, inflating, airline connection, and pressure checking. This will save you the trouble of buying those accessories separately and greatly expand the unit functionality.

All in all, the PowRyte compressor offers a good value for money. Able to cater to all kinds of household repair tasks, it is one of those tools that should be found in the arsenal of any handyman.

Review of PowRyte 5001430 4-Gallon 135 PSI Pancake Compressor

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

What Is a Pancake Compressor?

Today, you can find an air compressor in the garage or workshop of any handyman, DIY mechanic, or a rural inhabitant since it can help with a variety of household chores, from large-scale repair and remodeling projects to some minor occasional works. Air compressors come in a variety of types and the one you need totally depends on what you are going to use it for. A pancake compressor is best suited for small household tasks. Whether you need to fill balls, rafts, swim mattresses, garden pools, to inflate bicycle tires, add pressure to your car tires or use different air tools to accomplish some repair tasks around your house, a pancake compressor will come in handy.

A pancake compressor consists of an electric compressor unit and a flat round air tank that reminds a kind of pancake or donut, hence the name. It is one of the smallest and lightest compressor types available. The engine power usually doesn’t exceed 10 amps and an air tank volume varies from 1 to 6 gallons. A low profile design and a lightweight construction provide portability and ease of handling while an oil-free pump system ensures no-hassle maintenance which most other compressor types do not offer.

If you are somehow engaged in car repairs or it’s a kind of hobby for you, what you need along with an air compressor is a good mechanic tool set containing all the necessary tools for fixing various types of vehicles.

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Publish Date: 2018-11-07 16:32:31